Glen Garioch (which is pronounced “Geery”) claims to be one of the oldest operating distilleries in Scotland (but then, who doesn’t?!) and the most easterly (which is probably less debatable!)
As such, I’m assuming that the 1797 in the name of this particular dram is a reference to the date of their founding, rather than an age statement – although a 200+ year old whisky would be something remarkable to experience!
Glen Garioch 1797 Founder’s Reserve is a 48% ABV whisky, with no age statement attached. It’s a light smelling dram, with almonds, green apples and a touch of vanilla – certainly none of the bite you might expect from the strength. Watered, some woody spices emerge as the fruit recedes.
In the mouth, it has a honey sweet start that is quickly joined by a peppery kick, mint chocolate with sweet, clean citrus and a powerful alcohol finish. Water takes away the honey, and the pepper becomes gentle – the fruit becomes more like green apples. The finish still lingers, but is softened too.
It’s very different from my usual, smoke-fueled Island tastes but it’s rather refreshing – 3.5 stars.